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Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Hosts James Yee, Former U.S. Army Capt. and Muslim Chaplain at Guantanamo March 15

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University invites students and the general public to attend a free speech by James Yee, author and former U. S. Army Capt. and Muslim chaplain for the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 15 in the Student Union ballroom to discuss his experiences and struggle for justice and human rights at the prison camp.

Author of the recently published For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire, Yee talks in detail about the prisoners held at the camp and his ordeal in which he was falsely accused and imprisoned for being a terrorist spy for Guantanamo prisoners after raising concerns about the abuse of the prisoners.

Yee is a third-generation Chinese American and West Point graduate who converted to Islam in 1991. After serving in the aftermath of the first Gulf War as a Patriot Missile Fire Control Officer, he traveled to Damascus, Syria to study the Arabic language and the traditional Islamic sciences. He earned a Certificate of Islamic Studies, equivalent to a graduate degree, after four years of intensive study.

Following September 11, 2001, Yee represented Muslims in the military by handling a multitude of national and global media requests. He endeavored to educate soldiers about Islam by building bridges of understanding. Subsequently, Yee was selected to serve as the Muslin chaplain for the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In September 2003, Yee was arrested and imprisoned in a naval brig for 76 days. He was accused of espionage and aiding the alleged Taliban and Al-Qaeda prisoners. All criminal charges were dropped after months of investigation.

In September 2005, Yee earned a master's degree in International Relations. He now lectures about his experiences at Guantanamo Bay, Islam, Asian-American and religious diversity issues, and the challenges of protecting both national and civil liberties. He has appeared on national and global news programs, and is the recipient of a Community Service Award from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, for courage and bravery in the face of adversity. He is also the recent recipient of the Exceptional Communicator Award from New America Media.

The sponsors for this event include the Student Government at FGCU, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Communication and Philosophy, the American Democracy Project and Amnesty International.

For more information, media representatives should contact associate professor of Philosophy and Literature Sean K. Kelly at (239) 590-7440.

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